Danbury Country Park – originally laid out in the 13th century as part of a private estate – offers ornamental gardens and lakes, woodland and meadows.
The park’s accessible, well-maintained tracks are popular with dog walkers and families, with plenty of seats and picnic benches to have a rest or a bite to eat.
Surviving historic structures include an ice house where before refrigerators, ice was collected from the lakes in winter and stored for the palace kitchens.
The lakeside path takes you past the ornamental gardens and alongside tranquil waters, where you can see ducks, carp, moorhens, coots, grebes and sometimes a kingfisher.
Late spring is a good time to see ducklings and spectacular displays from rhododendrons in the gardens. In summer, the meadows fill with wildflowers and grasses, attracting butterflies and insects. Woodland paths offer respite from the sun in the dappled shade of ancient oaks, hornbeams and sweet chestnuts.
If you are travelling on public transport to get to one of the Essex Country Parks – take a look at the Traveline journey planner.
8am to dusk
13 Nov l 11 Dec l 15 Jan 2018
25 Oct l 14 Feb 2018 l 4 March l 11 March l 30 May l 25 July l 1 Aug l 8 Aug l 22 Aug l 29 Aug
Up to 1 hour £1.50
Up to 2 hours £2.50
Up to 3 hours £3.50
Over 3 hours £4
Season parking and more
Money from parking is used to maintain the park and protect its wildlife.
Danbury Country Park runs several popular clubs for children including Wild Wednesday and Woodland Play Forest School, helping them make the most of what parks can offer and build a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors.
You can fish at the Lower lake (the most western lake, south of the wildflower meadow), between 16 June and 14 March from 8.30am until dusk. Make sure you have a rod license and buy your day permit from the Ranger at the lake. Fishing is not allowed in the Mid lake and Top lake.
The park’s accessible, well-maintained hard-surface tracks are great for walking. There are plenty of seats and picnic benches to have a rest or a bite to eat. The lakeside path takes you alongside the tranquil waters where you can watch ducks, swans and carp, and past the ornamental gardens.
Do you have a passion for the countryside? Try out conservation volunteering at Danbury Country Park. Take part in a range of interesting and essential activities, such as coppicing, hedge-laying and meadow-raking. Find out more about our conservation volunteers.
There are public toilets, including disabled facilities, near the Woods car park and at the Mid lake. The toilets adjacent to the woods car park are closed in winter from November to April. The main toilets by the lakes car park are open all year.
Our outdoor learning team runs curriculum-linked activity days across all Essex’s country parks, designed to release children’s imagination and encourage their creativity. Find out more about educational activities at the park.